On this day 12 years ago, Chris Gayle opened the inaugural ICC World T20 in grand style, hitting the first ever century in T20I format in the opening match of World T20 against South Africa at Johannesburg, hitting 117 from just 57 balls on September 11, 2007.
Gayle’s blitzkrieg came against an attack that comprised of Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Morne Morkel, Albie Morkel, Vernon Philander and Johan van der Wath. The knock boosted the West Indian innings to 205 but they still went on to lose the game with 14-balls to spare thanks to some poor bowling and Herschelle Gibbs’ unbeaten 90 from 55 balls.
The big Jamaican is the most prolific T20 player the game has ever witnessed. Adding to his maiden ton in the format, Gayle hit one more century and 13 fifites, en route to 1627 runs in 58 matches at an average of 32.54 and strike-rate of 142.84. While he was the first playet to core 1000 T20I runs, he has now been surpassed by the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Martin Guptill, Shoaib Malik, Brendon Mccullum, Mohammad Shahzad, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Eoin Morgan, Umar Akmal, David Warner, AB de Villiers, Aaron Finch and Alex Hales.
However, Gayle remains at the top of the list in T20s, with 12836 runs in the 385 matches – making him the only player to have over 10000 runs in T20s. He also has the most centuries in T20s with 22 – the latest on which coming yesterday in the CPL 2019 for Jamaica Tallahwahs. The next best is eight by Michael Klinger. Gayle also has the maximum fifties in T20s with 80.
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